Italy 0 vs. 3 India
6.00 Push Back
Seven out of ten times, I reckon India would win this one, but Italy have turned a few heads, with some surprising results and the Indians haven’t been scoring a great amount so far. Jasbeer Singh, born in Italy and the daughter of former Olympic bronze medal winning Indian international Inder ‘Gogi’ Singh turns out for the nation of her Italian mother.
India are playing a 4-3-3, Italy a 3-4-3, bulking out the midfield. Both teams’ attack has struggled to create chances so far, but the Italians, in the opening stages, are taking the ball higher up the pitch more often than their opponents. In the ninth minute, there is a foot foul in the Italian circle and India win the first short corner of the game. It’s blocked by the first runner and goes for a long corner. From this they work a circle entry and get a shot off across the goal. Lalremsani, the Indian number 20, scores; 1 – 0.
The Italians are moving off the ball well, but are struggling to find each other with the quality of the passes. There are a lot of unforced errors from the Azzurre and this is having an impact on the an impact on the ease in which they move forward.
In the fourth minute of the second quarter, a long ball finds 20 year old Udita alone in the circle. But she can’t trap it and allows the keeper to clear. India are starting to show their greater experience here. The forwards are coming more into the game now, preventing Italy from advancing as regularly as they have. They are also looking like their usual organised selves in defence, with the Italians struggling to make circle entries. At half time the score is Italy 0 – 1 India.
In the fourth minute of second half, Jasbeer Singh takes an Indian elbow to the face. Soon after Navneet Kaur, looks to take the ball around the iMartina Chirico, but plays it wide of the post. A minute later referral is made, looking for an Italian foot within the circle. A short corner given for India, but it goes wide.
Sunita Lakra is shown a green card, for not retreating for an Italian free hit on the half way line. The Indians are coming out a lot further than they did against England, during the pool matches, but both teams are struggling to creatively find circle entries. This could come down to short corners. And in the 11th minute India win a set piece. It’s deflected and Italy clear their lines, looking to counter attack, but it breaks down and Marcela Casale also gets a green card.
Right on the hooter India are awarded a short corner. Even though the period is over, the Indians are allowed to take their set piece. The whole team goes forward, as Italy aren’t allowed to counter attack. After a scramble, the ball goes over the line. It’s an umpire referral this time, as she wants to be sure of any infringements. It’s awarded and Gurjit Kaur is on the scoresheet.
At the start of the final period the Italians have a lot of work to do. Within a minute they get their first short corner of the game, after the keeper sits on the ball. The Savita saves it, and India win the second phase, moving the ball over the half way line. In the ninth minute, after a drive to the right hand baseline and a circle entry, India win another short corner. Chirico gets behind it and in the seconds phase, they another short corner is awarded. This time a deflection at the left post, goes over the keeper to make it 3 – 0 for India. Vandana Katariya gets the goal .
As the game ticks over, the Indians work the ball right to left, with Navneet Kaur finding Navjot Kaur in the circle, but the shot is hit into a well placed Italian keeper and the gam moves on. With two minutes remaining, Giuliana Ruggieri picks the ball up on the left, plays it into Valentina Braconi, but her shot goes wide of the left post as she looked slightly rushed and off balance. At full time, the final score is Italy 0 – 3 India. And in truth the Italians have never looked like scoring. Lalremsiami of India is the Player of the Match.